Cougars, Calamities and Classics: Playoff Mania
By: Kelsey Hipkin
It’s that time again sports fans – time to dust off your favorite comfy chair, time to polish that favorite bar stool and time to break out the beer by the case.
Playoff time is a tradition, it’s an especially integral tradition in Calgary. Just missing out on the Cup in ’04 has had Flames fans ravenous for a Championship parade in the city ever since.
I’m going to throw in my round one predictions now, I’ve already been laughed at for a few of them but I’m a big girl and can take the criticism…some of these are logical choices and some are personal. I guess we’ll find out how wise I am when it comes down to the big show.
Sharks vs. Ducks – Sharks, Sharks, Sharks. With Nabokov between the pipes and the scoring prowess of Thornton, Marleau and Setoguchi the Sharks should dominate the Ducks who have been lukewarm all season. Sharks in five.
Hawks vs. Flames – Despsite the Flames losing all games when meeting the Blackhawks this season I’m giving the edge to the Flames in the form of experience. Sure they’ve been a little injury plagued towards the end of the season but they have the cojones to pull off the win and Mr.Sutter will be especially eager to take on the team that he was with as a player and behind the bench for so long. Besides I can’t wait for the Flames to get passed that doomed first round so I can dust off the old car flag. Flames in Six.
Canucks vs. Blues – I was really rooting for the Blues to make it into the playoffs this season and am glad they did. Boyes and Backes led in scoring for the Blues and head coach Andy Murray did some stellar work with the team. Murray recently won Coach of the Year honors on XM Satellite as deemed by Phil Esposito. They are facing a really strong team in the Vancouver Canucks. Those damn Sedin twins are really great hockey players and Roberto Luongo is a machine in net. The Blues will put up a great fight but the Canucks will take it. Canucks in seven.
Red Wings vs. Blue Jackets – This is the matchup I have been laughed at for my winning guess. I am giving the edge to the Blue Jackets in this one. Detroit is an amazing team, finishing second overall in the conference. They have a solid team down to every line but I’m just not feeling it for them this season. It’s time for those pesky Wings to take a seat and let some of the other kids play. The Blue Jackets were kind of a suprise team. Old Hitch knows what he’s doing behind the bench and his team is going to take the round. Blue Jackets in seven.
Boston vs. Canadiens – I think this Original Six matchup is going to be one of the best ever seen. This will be the 32nd time the teams have met in the post-season and the Bruins are holding the edge. Tim Thomas will backstop his way to round one win with a lot of help from Savard and Kessel and a little tough love from the very handsome Lucic. Boston in five.
Flyers vs. Penguins – This one is a toss up for me. I heard today that certain news stations are using everything from seals to monkeys to determine playoff match-ups so I am going to use Buddy the bird. I’ll use both names with Buddy and see which one he ruffles his feathers over most. Buddy picks Philidelphia; seven games.
Devils vs. Hurricanes – The Hurricanes are a great team supported with the fiery youth of Staal and Ruutu and Brind’Amour the old battle horse while the Devils who played so well under backup Clemmensen and another old war horse Martin Brodeur. I’m giving this one to the Devils. Parise is going to be on fire for round one. Devils in seven.
Capitals vs. Rangers – With Ovechkin being the hottest player of his time (despite those pesky celebration dances he does) and the Rangers sporting a Sean Avery who is back up to his old tricks I’m giving this one to the Capitals. Washington in six.
Sean Avery vs. Tim Thomas
For a WHL perspective I’d like to give a shout out to my friend Joe’s blog, Rants In His Pants, check it out.